Zondervan/Biblica issue their latest Bible product ...on Election Day?

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(Tim) Zondervan and Biblica thought Election Day was a perfect time to make news with their latest Bible product, the New International Version 2010. This is the gender-neutered update of the New International Version they promised the world they would never do. Reneging on that promise, their press release yesterday was perfectly timed not to be able to compete with other news, quickly dropping into the newsroom equivalent of Sun City, Arizona.

Here's a typical reason given by Doug Moo and his associates of Zondervan and Biblica's Committee on Bible Translation why all of us should update our Bibles to their latest and greatest product. Under the category of "Reasons for Changing the Text: Progress in Scholarship:"

When the NIV was first translated, the meaning of the rare Greek word harpagmos, rendered ‟something to be grasped,” in Philippians 2:6 was uncertain. But further study has shown that the word refers to something that a person has in their possession but chooses not to use to their own advantage. The updated NIV reflects this new information, making clear that Jesus really was equal with God when he determined to become a human for our sake: ‟[Christ Jesus], being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage.”

Try to take a toy from a toddler and you'll know what 'grasped' means and whose advantage is at stake...

Being simple, and therefore memorable, the old reading is better. One word is better translated by four words than eight, and three sylables better translated by five than eleven.

But the real failure of Moo and his colleagues is their whole-hog deletion from the text of Scripture those Hebrew and Greek words we postmoderns find offensive because of our bondage to those with certified victim status--particularly Jews and women. More on this later.

Meanwhile, I leave you with a simple question: where would the church be today if we didn't have "further study" as well as the opportunity every decade or so to spend money replacing our obsolete Bibles?